Carrying and giving a new life is never easy. It has wonders, it is amazing and beautiful. However, it comes with a lot of uncertainty, it makes you wonder more what the future would look like, not only for you but for the precious child you are about to bear into the world. If it isn’t hard enough as it is, imagine these experiences on top of something even more terrifying – a pandemic.
It was almost the end of January when the reality really sunk into me. A lot of news have been coming in about a virus, one that does not have a cure yet, one that is taking people’s lives not only from my country but throughout the whole world. Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is what they named it. Naturally, the sense of panic and fear came over me, to think about what the coming weeks would look like and how I can function amidst everything.
Then, another news broke out. It caused me panic and fear just as much but it was overwhelming and serene at the same time. Mixed emotions were overflowing especially when I was sitting at that doctor’s office, the moment I heard that first heartbeat. I am, indeed, blessed to carry on a new generation of me, I was about 10 weeks pregnant.
As the rush of emotions come, the anxiety rolls even more. It was like a building storm, subtle at first, no one dared stop it until I was in the middle of a tsunami, waves over waves and the island I was supposed to be standing on was so little in sight, too far, I felt like I was about to drown. During this, I learned that I cannot survive if I would not take charge.
With that, I breathe. Anxiety is fed by uncertainties. All the “what-if” and “could be”. A silver-lining that we could take away from staying home during this quarantine period is to be present. Breathing exercises help to ease the anxieties away. I do this until I feel like I was coming back to the shore, feeling the sandy beach back on my feet.
Remember that what you are feeling is valid. It is perfectly fine to freak out from time to time. It is, as what Adlerian psychologist would name it, a gemeinschaftsgefuhl – a collective, community feeling. It is not only you who worries about everything, especially now that you have a little one. What the future this pandemic brings greatly affects the life inside of you. But then again, breathe and take control.
Write down your thoughts. Keeping a journal is proven to be beneficial to ease anxiety. Scribbling down even just the random words that your mind is rambling about takes away more than you realize. For me, it has always been an outlet to let out emotions, may it be positive or negative.
Find a hobby that will keep you distracted. Most people that I encountered on social media these days are tapping on their inner artists. It can be through cooking, painting, binge-watching. dancing and singing, whatever your interests are. One effective way, though, is to read. Your body is going through changes during the pregnancy and it is beneficial to be equipped with knowledge as much as you can, most importantly, if you are a first-time mom.
Eat healthy and be physically fit for you and your baby. Taking care of your body is on top priority now. Since it is highly difficult if a pregnant woman catches the virus, staying home and healthy is vital. Remember that your baby takes in whatever you put inside your body and that your little one can only be as nourished as you are. Try to be physically fit, as well, since your body needs to be prepared for your baby’s growth. You can do yoga and light exercises. Also, be sure to catch some sun from time to time.
If possible, find a way to still make it to your OB-GYN for checkups. If the situation does not permit, teleconsultations will greatly help. Your doctor will help you a lot in these trying times especially with what your baby needs. As your body can only provide enough, prescriptions for vitamins, milk nourishment and food diets are essential to supply the best care your baby can get.
Monitor the growth of your baby, as well. There are applications that you can download that will tell you the progress and what your baby goes through each week, how big they are getting, what body parts and skills develop every passing time. Personally, it makes me happy knowing how this little life inside of me is growing and it excites me to think that in a few months time, I get to meet an angel.
It is also important to reach out to your support system. It may be the baby’s father, your family, your closest friends, your therapist, anyone that you can confide into. Our mind can only take so much and a venting out session is needed. Writing down what worries you only lessens it but talking to someone about what you are feeling takes a heavy load out of your system. Pregnancy is not as easy as many people think of it and being healthy for the baby also include a sound and peaceful mind.
Lastly, enjoy your journey. It may be your first pregnancy or not, the journey does not stay the same for everyone. It is as unique as your own fingerprints. The time you are about to spend with helping create a new life in this world is precious. Document everything as much as you like because after this pandemic is over and you have given birth to a new beautiful soul, you will look back and think about how strong you were to endure everything, how fierce and liberating it is that even with the chaos of the world, you are able to bear a wonderful child. And with that, everything will be alright.